Matthew 14:13-21, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
William Shakespeare once said, “If there is a good will, there is a great way.” This saying is commonly known to us as “ Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” . . . Pag gusto, hahanap ng paraan; pag ayaw, maraming dahilan.
Obviously, the disciples were not willing to give the crowd the food they needed. Instead, they chose the easy way – to dismiss them and have them buy their own food. Like the disciples, we often choose the easy path because the hard way is inconvenient.
A husband and his wife were sitting in front of the TV one evening, just whiling away the time before going to bed. After a long silence, the wife said: “Honey, I think it’s raining. Get up and go outside and see.” The husband continued to gaze at the screen for a second, sighed, then said, “Oh Ma, why don’t we just call the dog in and see if he’s wet.”
He who really wants to do something, finds a way; he who doesn’t, finds an excuse. Pag gusto, hahanap ng paraan; pag ayaw, maraming dahilan.
Normally, we want to get rid of people and work that burden us. So we file our burdens away from our mind. We want the easy way out. It is usually not so much the greatness of our troubles but the littleness of our spirit which causes us to complain and do away with what is not convenient. But, if we truly love our Lord, we must stop finding reasons for not moving an extra mile for someone in need.
Seeing the burden of a crowd of 5,000, the disciples wanted the people to go away and buy food for themselves. But Jesus thought otherwise… He was moved with compassion rather than discouraged by the burden. He made them stay – and with his limitedf resources of five loaves and two fish, all ate and were filled.
By the very act of Jesus, he is telling us that there are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about the situation. That there is no giving that is small. All loving, giving, no matter how simple and small, can truly help souls in trouble. Jesus is also telling us that it is better to be bent by hard work than to be crooked by trying to avoid it.
It has been said that there are three kinds of givers:
Grudge givers say, “ I hate to” ;
Duty givers say, “I have to” ;
Thanks givers say, “I want to”
How did we give of ourselves during the past days? Did we give grudgingly? Dutifully? Or joyfully?
You can tell whether you are becoming a person of God by how you are willing to get out from your comfort zones in order to respond to the needs of others – by how far you go to surrender to God’s call to embrace a little bit of inconvenience for others. We make a life by what we give, and we get more than we give – when we give more than we get.
Last Friday was the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the society of Jesus. And I would like to end our Gospel reflection with his famous Prayer of Generosity…
Dearest Lord, teach us to serve you as you deserve:
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not ask for any reward
Say that of knowing that we do your will. Amen.
*image from the Internet